the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: etiquette

Dear Neilochka, Mr. Internet Etiquette

For the longest time, I’ve wanted to be of some service to my friends. I want to give back to the community, to share some of my online experiences to help you learn.   But what can I teach you about blogging, social media, or the internet as a whole?   On paper, I am an internet failure.  I make no money.  I have no sponsorships.  I’m not the best writer.   I don’t even get many comments anymore.

But I’m unique in one way.   After six years of blogging, I know a shitload of people, and like the grizzled old man who has been through the Great War, I’ve seen it all.  I know it all. Who is liked and who is hated.   I’m like the Cindy Adams (old school gossip columnist for those who don’t know) of the personal blogging world.

With my special journalistic credentials, I cannot think of a better person to answer your personal questions about the mechanics of online life, or help you grapple with the many social encounters we have online, particularly in the use of proper etiquette.

Send your questions to neilochka at yahoo dot com, and I’ll choose someone each week, if I decide to do this more than once. I’m very fickle.

Today’s question comes from a blogger who remains anonymous, which makes me think she is a bigger wimp than I am.

Dear Neilochka, Mr. Internet Etiquette,

I am attending a blogging conference soon, and one of the speakers is a popular person who once followed me on Twitter when she was less popular, but has now unfollowed me as she made newer, better friends.   I know I am acting like a petty bitch, but I am worried about running into her at the conference and feeling uncomfortable.  And if I do go to the conference, should I purposely boycott her session?

Petty but Can’t Help It

Dear Petty,

Are you being a petty bitch?  Yes.

Is it natural to be a petty bitch? Yes.

Being unfollowed hurts, even on Twitter. I’m not one of those too-cool people who will tell you the bullshit that it doesn’t matter.  This person is dissing you.  She went out of her way to cut you out of her life, insisting that you are dead to her.  She didn’t politely hide you on some “loser” list.  She unfollowed you in public.  You are DEAD to HER.   She stabbed you in the heart, and then twisted the knife.  Accept it.  This person doesn’t think you worthy.

But that’s life, right?  Life IS rejection and unrequited love.  It’s never going to change. Once you accept this, you will feel free.  But remember that YOU would never unfollow yourself.  You love yourself.  And if you love yourself, it doesn’t matter who unfollows you. You have the ultimate power.

I remember my own experience at BlogHer 10.   One of the keynote speakers was a former friend who not only unfollowed me on Twitter, but unfriended me on Facebook, all because of a post where I jokingly called the children of “mommybloggers” as “Satan’s evil spawn,” AS IF they don’t call them that themselves!

But my mother raised me right.  I believer in proper social etiquette.  So, rather than ignoring her at the conference, I swallowed my pride, and was the first to approach her after her keynote to tell her that her talk was “brilliant.”   And even when she immediately said “Excuse me,” to talk to a more popular blogger instead, I didn’t let this hurt me, or make me feel insecure.

That night, at the conference, I dressed up, and went down to one of the many parties.  I danced and enjoyed myself tremendously.   I realized that I was proud of my own accomplishments.  I loved myself and that was the most important LOVE of all.

There was also this rumor going around that the woman who dissed me had given blowjobs to two bellhops earlier that afternoon in the men’s room.  I have no idea how the rumor started.

So, Petty, embrace your hurt.   But don’t sit around and sob.   Be proactive.   That is my advice.

Dear Emily Blogpost


Dear Emily Blogpost,

I’m a male blogger who lives in the Los Angeles area.  Recently, it was my birthday, and I received cards and gifts from other bloggers.  Today I started writing “thank you” emails.  Things started out well.  I sent four emails, but then I suddenly stopped, feeling myself going into a panic.  Sweat poured down onto my shirt.  What was the problem?  I feared that I had made a terrible mistake in blog etiquette. 

I quickly reread my notes and it was just as I had feared –  at the end of each note I signed things off at the end as, “Love, Neil.” 

Now, while I am fond of these bloggers, I’m not sure I actually “love” them in the traditional sense.  I probably was overdoing the literary hyperbole, which is a frequent problem of mine as a writer.  When I used the word “love,” I hoped to convey a friendly fondness, much like a person can love a cat, or a bowl of Fruit Loops.  I hope that this “love” is not misinterpreted by others to mean “I am now stalking you” or “I know your bra size is 36D and I think about you when I caress the Bali Bras at Target,” or “meet me in the Westin at LAX, room 1201 on Saturday at 3PM so we can **** for a couple of hours on Westin’s trademarked signature Heavenly Bed (with ten layers of comfort!).

Perhaps I should just stop writing, “Love, Neil” on my thank you notes. especially to other men.  I thought about ending each email by saying, “Your friend, Neil,” but that seems lame, as if we hang out together and play Texas Hold Em on Thursday Nights or go to see action movies together.   “Your Blog Associate, Neil” is even worse, because it sounds like some new-fangled job description at Google.

Eh, maybe I’ll just go back to “Love, Neil” and hope someone hot misinterprets it and shows up at the Westin.

Emily Blogpost, please help!

Loves Too Much

P.S. — In a sidenote, while we were travelling, Sophia and I found it amusing that hotels still don’t have 13th floors in 2007.  Isn’t this the silliest superstition to have in modern times?  You can bring a hooker to your room, but can’t sleep on the 13th Floor?  Why not just ban mirrors and black cats?  Hell, Sophia and I got MARRIED on October 13th!

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  Meeting Barry at Canter’s

Should I Hug You?


One of the bloggers I met during my trip to San Diego was Modigli.  Meeting her was particularly exciting because I’ve been interacting with her as a blogger for more than a year.  I’ve “been with her” when she lived in Cleveland, when she took a trip to Florida, when she fell in love with another blogger in San Diego, when she moved to San Diego, when she couldn’t find a job, when she took a crappy job at Starbucks, when she finally got a teaching job, etc. 

I know more about her than some of my real friends.

So, I see her for the first time as I’m getting out of my car in front of her apartment complex.  But do I feel joy?  No!   Being a neurotic person, I feel only anxiety.  Why?  Because all I could think about was, “How do I greet her?”

“Do I hug her?  And do I hug her in that fake way or give her a real hug?  Should I give her a kiss on the cheek?  Will she think I’m too forward?  Will her boyfriend get mad?  Should I just shake her hand?  Should I kiss her “French” style on both cheeks?  Will she think me unfriendly if I don’t kiss her at all?” 

Luckily she came and gave me a big hug so I didn’t have to worry anymore (until it was time to go home when the thoughts came up again).

I enjoy meeting other bloggers, but I don’t like feeling anxious.  So, please help me and tell me now AHEAD OF TIME how you would like to be greeted – in case I ever meet you in person.

Would you like me to:

1)  Hug you weakly?
2)  Hug you strongly?
3)  Kiss you once on the cheek?
4)  Kiss you on both cheeks?
5)  Kiss you on the lips?
6)  Kiss you on the lips with tongue action?
7)  Kiss you while feeling you up?
8)  Kiss you while squeezing your ass?
9)  Kiss you while grinding against you?
10) Shake your hand?

Thanks for your help. 

And remember, tomorrow is Blog Appreciation Day.   Show your love to another blogger!  If you are sending a photo to someone, and you’re not afraid of revealing your location, show the daily newspaper or something specific so the person can feel proud that his blog is being read in Memphis or London, or wherever else you might live.


A Year Ago in Citizen of the Month:  Can Anybody Find Me Somebody to Hate?

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